Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of the railroads of Tioga county, Pa."

See other formats



3 1833 01773 6890 







Allen County Public Library 

900 Webster Street 

PO Box 2270 

Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270 



Paper Read before the Tioga County Historical Society 
at Wellsboro, Pa., April 15th, 1909, by 

ANTON HARDT, of Wellsboro, Pa. 

As far as historical data is concerned this paper would 
be unnecessary, since the histories of Tioga county and other 
works contain nearly all the important historical facts re- 
ferring to the railroads of the county, but having been identi- 
fied with tho conception and execution of many railroad 
projects in this county during the past forty years, I thought 
that possibly some of my personal recollections might be in- 
teresting to our Society and furthermore I am glad of the 
opportunity to pay an humble tribute to the memory or some 
of my best friends. 

On January 1, 1839, there was no railroad existing in 
Tioga county. Passenger traffic and mail service were car- 
ried on principally on foot, or horseback, by stage coach or 
private conveyance. Freight was moved by horses, mules 
or ox teams; some lumber was carried on rafts, and logs 
were floated down Pine creek, the Tioga and Cowanesque 
rivers, and on the tributaries of those streams. 

Seventy years later, on January 1, 1909, our county had 
206 miles of railroad, of which twenty-two mlleo are double 
track, and about ten miles of sidings. The amount of capi- 
tal invested in land, roadbed, bridges, buildings etc,, is esti- 
mated to exceed ten millions of dollars. 

The evolution of nearly all the railroad lines in this 
county can bo traced back to the Indian trails, traveled cen- 
turies ago by the Seneca tribe. These trails were used after- 
wards by the white man on foot, or horseback, and later on 
wagon roads were built on almost the identical routes. Fin- 
ally the railroads were located through the same valleys and 
over the watersheds, of which the Indians took advantage. 
I have been told that the Indians used to come up Pina creek 
with their canoes to tho mouth of Marsh creek, thence up 
Marsh creek to where Niles Valley is now located. There 
they carried their canoes over the summit to the headwaters 
of Crooked creek, which they navigated down to Tioga and 
thenco to the large Indian settlement at Painted Post. The 
summit at Niles Valley is a watershed between the North 
Branch and West Branch of the Susquehanna, and is re- 
markable for its low elevation, only 1,192 feet above tide 


water. This low summit insured the success of operating 
the Pine Creek railroad, which has no grades exceeding 26 
feet per mile. 

The first railroad constructed in this county was the line 
from Lawrenceville to Blossburg, which, with the extension 
to Corning, formed the Blossburg and Corning railroad. It 
was laid out in 1832, by Richard C. Taylor, an eminent civil 
engineer and geologist. The construction of this railroad 
under the direction of Chief Engineer Miller Fox, of To- 
wanda, Pa., was begun In 1839, and finished in the fall of 
1840, and 4,235 tons of coal were sent over it to market in 
that year. The northern terminus was at Corning, where It 
connected with the Chemung canal. 

When we consider the state of the country, the building 
of the Blossburg and Corning Railroad, in 1840, must be re- 
garded as one of the boldest enterprises of that day. The 
present railroad system of the state of New York as yet had 
no existence. The Auburn and Syracuse R. R., now a part 
of the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R., was not opened to traffic until 
1843, and the Auburn and Rochester railroad in 1842. The 
first portion of the Erie Railway was opened from Piedmont 
to Goshen in 1841, was extended to Middletown in 1S43, to 
Port Jarvis in 1848, to Elmira in 1849, to Corning in 1S50, 
and through to Dunkirk in 1851. Cumberland coal was not 
sent to market until 1842, and the Philadelphia & Reading 
R. R., the first of the great coal railroads, was finished in 
1842. The total anthracite coal trade in the United States 
in 1842 was 841,584 tons, and that of bituminous coal car- 
ried to the seaboard consisted of 78,751 tons, from the Rich- 
mond veins in Virginia. In 1908 it was 80 million tons of 
anthracite and 338 million tons of bituminous. 

The Blossburg and Corning R. R. was, therefore, one of 
the oldest railroads in the United States, built expressly to 
carry coal, and, as events proved, it was somewhat in advance 
of the wants of the country. It was constructed in a simple 
way: The foundation consisted of cross timbers laid twelve 
feet apart, on which stringers we-re framed. On the inner 
edge of the stringers pieces of fiat iron, called strap-rail, 
were fastened by iron spikes. During the operation of this 
railroad the spikes were loosened and sometimes let the end 
of a strap rail curl up, which would penetrate the floor of 
the passenger coach like a snake, and was therefore called 
s. "snakehead." Derailments of trains were frequent, and 
I was told that upon one occasion several ox teams were 
secured from a neighboring field to draw the locomotive back 
on the track. 

In 185 2 the strap rails were replaced by T rails, spiked 
on cross ties, and the roadbed and equipment greatly im- 
proved, the Honorable John Magee, of Bath, N. Y., having 
in the meantime become the owner of the line from Law- 
renceville to Corning. 

I took my first ride over the road Jan. 7, 1867, and re- 
member well the striking appearance of the passenger coach, 
which was coupled to a long string of five-ton coal dumps. 
In the center of the coach was a good-sized coal stove, a 
plush covered sofa on each side of the coach opposite the 
stove, and seats arranged in the usual way at each end of 
the coach. There were only two ticket offices on the line. 


one at Corning and one at Blossburg. It took three and one- 
half hours to cover forty miles, from Corning to Blossburg. 
Shops at Blossburg for the repair of locomotives and cars 
employed quite a crew of machinists, blacksmiths, carpen- 
ters and laborers, and considerable money was disbursed ev- 
ery pay day, helping to maintain trade and adding to the 
prosperity of Blossburg. 

In 1853 the line from Blossburg to Morris Run was con- 
structed under the direction of Colonel Pharon Jarett, of 
Lockhaven, Pa. 

The line from Blossburg to Fall Brook w?.s built in 1859, 
by John Magee and Humphries Brewer, civil engineer, who 
became afterwards superintendent of the Fall Brook mines 
and first president of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville Rail- 
road. The rails of the Fall Brook branch were taken up and 
the railroad abandoned in 1900. There was still a large 
amount of coal in the Fall Brook mines, but the miners, 
without having any grievance, went on a "sympathetic" 
strike and the coal company decided to abandon the mines. 
Part of the railroad bed Is now used as a public road be- 
tween Blossburg and Roaring Branch. 

The line from Blossburg to Arnot was built in 1866, and 
extended to Hoytville In 1883; S. B. Elliott, chief engineer. 

In 1867 a survey for a lino from Lawrenceville to An- 
trim was made by the writer under the direction of Humph- 
ries Brewer, who died at Fall Brook, Dec. 25, 1867. The 
construction of this railroad was commenced In May, 1870, 
and finished in the fall of 1872. 

The Cowanesque branch, Horatio Seymour, Jr., chief en- 
gineer, was completed In 1873 from Lawrenceville to Elk- 
land, and subsequently extended to Ulysses, in Potter coun- 

In 1876 the Elmira and State Line railroad from Law- 
renceville to Elmira was completed, S. M. Seymour, chief 
engineer, and in 1884 this line, with the railroad to Hoyt- 
ville and the Morris Run branch, passed Into the possession 
of the Erie Railway Company, and has remained since a part 
of that system. 

All the lines mentioned so far were originally six foot 
gauge, but were changed in the course of time to standard 
gauge. For several years three rails were used between the 
mining towns and Watkins, N. Y., to accommodate rolling 
stock of both gauges. The standard gauge is four feet, 8^ 

The Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway Com- 
pany was chartered Feb. 17th, 1870. for the construction 
of a line from Jersey Shore to Port Allegany, by the waters 
of Pine creek and its tributaries, and contained this proviso: 
"That no connection shall be made with the road authorized 
to be constructed by this act and any railroad In the county 
of Tioga running into the state of New York except by way 
of Long Run and the Cowanesque valley. 

The office of the company was located in Coudersport, 
and remained there until January 25, 1882, when It was 
moved to WellBboro. At that time the New York Central & 
Hudson River Railroad Company had obtained a controlling 
interest In the road, and disregarding the proviso before 
mentioned ordered a connection made at Stokesdale with the 


Fall Brook system, by way of Ansonia. Construction of the 
road was begun at once, and the road was opened for traffic 
June 4, 1883, when it was leased to the Fall Brook Railway 
Co. for twenty years. 

On June 1st, 1889, one of the worst floods known In this 
region occurred on Pine creek, carried away some of the 
bridges and washed out the track in many places. It took 
over three months to put the road In running order, and the 
damage, Including loss of traffic, was estimated to exceed 
one million dollars. 

On May 1st, 1899, by mutual consent, the loase of the Pine 
Creek railroad to the Fall Brook Railway Company was 
cancelled, the New York Central Railroad Company acquired 
possession of the Fall Brook system by a 999 years' lease and 
took It upon themselves to operate the consolidated lines 
under the name of the Pennsylvania Division. About 22 
miles In Tioga county have since been double tracked, and 
a notable change In the grade has been made near Tioga to 
facilitate the hauling of south bound freight. 

The late Charles S. Pattlson, of Elkland, was the prime 
mover in the organization of the Addison and Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company, in 1882, and was president of the Penn- 
sylvania Division of the road up to his death, April 10,. 1896. 
The section from Addison to Westfleld, which enters Tioga 
county at Nelson station, was completed and the first pas- 
senger cars run between those towns November 27, 1882, 
within ninety days from the time the work was commenced. 
The line was subsequently extended to Gaines and Galeton. 
It was originally a narrow gauge road, and was changed 
to standard width in the spring of 1895. 

The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railway originated with 
a lumber track from Keating Summit to Austin, in 1885. It 
was gradually extended to Costello. Austin and Galeton, and 
reached Ansonia in 1894. The B. & S. R. R. Co. bought 
and partly reconstructed the Addison and Pennsylvania line 
from Galeton to Addison In 1898 and abandoned at the same 
time the old line between Galeton and Gaines, using its own 
line from Galeton to Gaines for Addison traffic. In 1895 
it extended its line from Galeton to Wellsvllle, N. Y., and 
thence to Buffalo In 1906. A branch starting at Wharton, 
Potter county, reaches Dubois via Slnnemahoning. This 
branch was completed in 1908. The total mileage of the 
main line operated at present by the B. & S. Railroad Co. 
is 354 miles. Besides this, the Goodyear Lumber Co. owns 
and operates with Its own equipment about 100 miles of lum- 
ber railroads, standard gauge. The affiliated Interests of 
the B. & S. Railroad have acquired large tracts of coal lands 
In Clearfield, Jefferson, Indiana and Armstrong counties, all 
of which are now in operation. Sagamore, Armstrong coun- 
ty, has just been completed, and It was the intention of F. 
H. Goodyear, President of the B. & S. Railroad, to make this 
the largest producing coal mine in the United States. An- 
other enterprise with which Mr. Goodyear was connected la 
the B. & 8. Coal & Iron Co., at Buffalo, which la supplied 
with coke from mines on the B. & S. Railway. 

Mr. Henry Herden has been chief engineer of the B. & S. 
Railway since 1891, and I am Indebted to him and to Mr. C. 


W. Goodyear, president of the company, for much of the In- 
formation regarding the B. & S. Railway. 

About two miles of the great Pennsylvania R. R. system 
are contained within the boundaries of our county. Pem- 
bryn station, formerly called Carpenters, Is located near the 
southeast boundary of Tioga county, on the Elmira division 
of the Northern Central railway. This fact may be impor- 
tant If taxation of railroad property for county purposes ever 
becomes a reality. The south end of this road was first built 
from Wllllam8port to Ralston, in 1839. A locomotive, named 
the Robert Ralston, was brought from Philadelphia on a 
canal boat and placed on the railroad. Eighteen months 
afterward a second locomotive was purchased, named the 
Wllllamsport. The road was poorly constructed. The track 
consisted of strap rail spiked to stringers, and the wear and 
tear caused by the locomotives waB so great that they had to 
be taken off at the end of nine years and horses substltued. 
This railroad was the outgrowth of the coal and Iron opera- 
tions on Lycoming creek, in which Mr. Ralston spent his 
fortune, but founded a town which perpetuated his name. 
When the road was rebuilt and T rails placed on the track, 
the discarded locomotive "Wllllamsport" was renovated and 
put on the road again. After many vlclsltudes the road was 
completed to Elmira, and called the Wllllamsport & Elmira 
R. R. It is now known as the Northern Central Railway. 

I presume that the historian should not venture to make 
predictions of the future, but it can do no harm to say a few 
words about the future of the railroads in this county. 

The Pennsylvania Division of he N. Y. C. R. R. will prob- 
ably be double tracked in a few years, and will In time form 
the most important link between the New England States 
and Pittsburg. iv _ a . ., 

It has been predicted by conservative men that the time 
will come when the Tioga branch of the Erla R. R. will be 
abandoned between Blossburg and Hoytvllle. I have reason 
to doubt this; on the contrary, I believe that some time this 
road will be extended from Hoytvllle to Blackwell. 

The lumber traffic on the B. & S. Railway will gradually 
decrease, but the coal and coke traffic from southwestern 
Pennsylvania, where the company controls vasts tracts of 
coal land, will for many years insure profitable traffic. 

Having briefly outlined the history of the railroads of 
Tioga county, I will now proceed to give short sketches of 
the men who were most prominent in the conception, con- 
struction or operation of these roads. 


I met Hon. John Magee for the flr»t time on Oct. 17, 
1867, at Lyman Smith Hotel, in Tioga. He was then eev- 
enty-three years old, but still a fine looking man, about sir 
feet tall, Btralght and well-built, with smooth face and pierc- 
ing eyes; he could not help Impressing anyone as a man of 
superior faculties. He was dressed In black broadcloth and 
carried a gold headed cane. I noticed that bis shirt bosom 
was ruffled and snow white, and when I called at his home 


In Watklns, N. Y., later on, his ruffled shirt attracted my 
attention again. Evidently his good 'wife took special pains 
■with It, as at that time there was no laundry In Watklns. 
I was told that Mr. Magee at one time wanted to negotiate 
a loan with a banker In Philadelphia -who was a Quaker, 
and was refused. Upon Inquiry Mr. Magee learned that the 
Quaker objected to loan money to a man who went around 
with a frilled shirt. As I had special charge of the design 
of the Magee monument, on the public square In Wellsboro, 
I Insisted that the sculptor, Mr. Conkey, should represent the 
frilled shirt bosom on the bust. 

Mr. Magec's son, Duncan S., was with him at our first 
meeting, In Tioga, and I noticed how respectfully the son 
treated his father. Both asked many questions In reference 
to the Wellsboro & Lawrencvllle railway, which I was then 
laying out. On January 30, 1868, I called at Mr. Magee's 
house, In Watklns, N. Y., where I exhibited my profile and 
estimates of cost of the Wellsboro & Lawrencevllle Railroad. 
For more than an hour Mr. Magee piled me with questions, 
and I wondered at his quick preception of engineering points, 
and hl3 knowledge of railroad supplies, etc. After he got 
through asking questions about the railroad project, he In- 
quired about my personal affairs, my family, what work I 
had done In my native country, why I came to this country, 
etc. This was characteristic of Mr. Magee. He always took 
a great Interest In the welfare of his employees, and his 
kind words to women and children at Fall Brook are a 
pleasant recollection there to-day with some of the old in- 
habitants. He died April 5th, 1868. 


Judge Williams took a great Interest in the railroads pro- 
jected and built in Tioga county. He gave liberally to the 
right of way fund which the citizens of Wellsboro raised for 
the Wellsboro & Lawrencevllle R. R., he hurried the building 
of this railroad by employing W. S. Ncarlng, of Morris 
Run, to survey a line from Arnot to Wellsboro In 1869, 
in 1882 he was offered a directorship on the board of the 
Jersey Shore Pine Creek & Buffalo Railroad, but declined It, 
an he thought It would lntorfero with his duties as President 
Judge of Tioga county. He delivered eloquent addresses at 
the opening of the Wellsboro &. Lawrencevllle R. R. In 1872, 
and at the opening of the Elmlra & State Line R. R., in 
1876. He also took great Interest in the construction of 
the Pine Creek railroad. 

In 1886 a few friends of the late John Magee proposed 
to erect a monument In his honor on the public Bquare of 
Wellsboro. Judge Williams was elected president of this 
monumental association June 17, 1886, and principally ow- 
ing to his untiring energy It was possible to unveil the mon- 
ument on Dec. 1, 1886. The words spoken by Judge Wil- 
liams at the unveiling were considered by every one who 
listened to them as one of the finest orations ever heard In 
our town, and Mr. A. J. Shattuck has kindly consented to 
read Judge Williams's speech for us to-night. 



I met George J. Magee for the first time Nov. 22, 1867, at 
Fall Brook. He was then a director of the Fall Brook Coal 
Company, whose business was mainly managed by his father, 
John Magee, and by his elder brother, Duncan S. Magee. 
After John Magee's death, In 1868, Duncan S. Magee became 
president. His untimely death, in 1869, put the heavy load 
of the presidency on the shoulders of George J. Magee, who 
was then only 29 years old, and practically unprepared for 
such a responsible position. He had a fine college education, 
but had had very little to do with the affairs of the Fall 
Brook Coal Company. Unfortunately, soon after his election 
to the presidency, times began to tighten, the annual sales 
of Fall Brook coal decreased steadily, and prices went down 
so low that after paying toll to the Tioga Railroad, to the 
Erie and to the Northern Central the coal had to be sold at 
Watkins at a very small profit. Mr. Magee tried to have 
the railroads reduce their tolls, but they relied on traffic 
contracts with the Fall Brook Coal Company, which were 
made during the war, when coal sold at $12 a ton. Early 
in 1874 Mr. Magee felt convinced that a new outlet for the 
coal traffic would have to be found, and during that year 
negotiated with the owners of a charter for a railroad from 
Corning to Sodus Bay, but after close investigation this did 
not prove satisfactory, and in the fall of 1875 surveys for 
a line from Corning to Geneva were begun, and in 1876 
contracts were let for the building of the road. The con- 
tractors failed and Mr. Magee himself had to take the con- 
tract. To raise funds for this purpose the whole property 
of the Fall Brook Coal Co. in Tioga county had to be mort- 
gaged, and finally the Syracuse, Geneva & Coming railway 
from Corning to Geneva was completed, in the fall of 1877. 

Few outsiders knew of the feverish anxiety which pre- 
vailed among the head men of the Fall Brook Coal Co. during 
the years '77, '78 and '79, and it took strong hands to guide 
the affairs of the company. Mr. Magee was equal to the 
emergency and was faithfully supported by Hon. Daniel 
Beach and Mr. John Lang. I remember meeting a prominent 
buisness man of Penn Yan early in 1877, who said to me: 
"General Magee's scheme of building a railroad from Corn- 
ing to Geneva will fail and he will bankrupt the Fall Book 
Coal Co." This prediction did not become true; on the con- 
trary, the building of the S. G. & C. R. R. was the making 
of the Fall Brook Coal Co. 

Construction of the Pine Creek R. R. by General Magee 
followed, in 1882, and with the completion of that road, in 
1883. the Fall Brook traffic increased very largely. 

The New York Central soon found out that the Fall 
Brook system was the best feeder of their main line, and In 
1895 the first effort was made to set a price on the property 
of the Fall Brook Railroad Co. General Magee knew that 
eventually he would be forced to sell out, and this knowledge 
preyed on his mind, and I believe hastened his death, which 
occurred March 11, 1899. 

Hardly a day passes now but I nm reminded of General 
Magee by some incident in business or social life. For near- 


ly thirty years I worked under him, and was always treated 
by him with great kindness and consideration. It was char- 
acteristic of General Magee that he never showed his author- 
ity In a harsh way, but always tried to encourage his sub- 
ordinates by helpful suggestions and brought about the best 
results In that way. He was loved and respected by all of 
hla employes, and his memory will ever be cherished by 
them. N 


I met Mr. Gorton for the first time In my office at Fall 
Brook, January 17, 1808, and was at once favorably Im- 
pressed by his cordial and friendly greeting. For nearly 
twenty years our relations were of the most pleasant char- 
acter, and many times I received valuable advice from him 
In reference to new work on tho Fall Brook Railway. 

Mr. Gorton was a millwright by trade, and his first work 
for the Corning and Blossburg railroad was the framing of 
five-ton coal enrs. He did this work so well that It attract- 
ed the attention of the president of the rallrond, Hon. John 
Magee. and ho was soon appointed foreman of the repair shops 
at Corning, and later on Superintendent of the Corning & 
Blossburg R. R., which then comprised only 22 miles, 16 
miles from Corning to Lawrencevllle and 7 from Blossburg 
to Fall Brook. By traffic contracts the Fall Brook Coal Co. 
also ran their trains over the Tioga railroad from Blossburg 
to Lawrencevllle, over the Erie from Corning to Horseheads 
and over the Northern Central from Horeheads to Watklns. 

At the present time we can hardly realize the great dif- 
ficulties which had to be overcome by the superintendents 
who managed the railroads In this county 50 years ago. 
The track was poorly constructed, very few sidings existed 
along the line and most of the lumber, ties, etc., had to be 
loaded on the main track. Mr. Gorton was an efficient 
superintendent, and enjoyed the confidence of his employer 
and the good will of his employees. As the Fall Brook sys- 
tem gradually expanded until It reached more than ten times 
the mileage of 1808, Mr. Gorton's capacity to rule such a 
system become more evident. He had hard work to show up 
good results with the limited means at his command, and 
had the disadvantage of starting business on new track 
which took years to settle, and with new men, who were not 
familiar with the lino and with the peculiar way of hand- 
ling coal traffic. It was amusing to hear Mr. Gorton's suc- 
cessor boast of his superior management, which In dollars 
and cents showed better results than Mr. Gorton's, but he 
did not seem to comprehend that he had a perfect track to 
run on and a lot of men whom Mr. Gorton had educated for 
the business, and that the gradual Increase of traffic on the 
road helped to decrease the proportion of expenses 

Mr. Oorton died April 26, 1886. and at his funeral many 
of the company's employees expressed their heartfelt sorrow 
for the loss of a man who was to them not only a kind over- 
seer but a true helping friend. 



Superintendent of the Tioga Railroad, whom I first met 
early In 1868, was considered one of the best railroad man- 
agers In the state. He worked his way up from fireman to 
engineer, conductor and station agent, and was perfectly 
familiar with every detail of railroad management. He had 
the respect of his men and had perfect control over them. 
Unlike another superintendent who relied on a system of 
splonage to uphold his position, Mr. Shattuck despised tale- 
bearers, and would not listen to them. He could see for 
himself what was going on and took pains to watch closely 
the operation of his railroad. Many a time he would board 
a caboose at a water tank when the men thought he was 
at the other end of the line. He always conversed freely 
with his employes about the work and would allow them 
to make suggestions for the betterment of the service. 

Mr. Shattuck, like Mr. Gorton, had to overcome a great 
many difficulties of which railroad superintendents nowa- 
days know nothing. Imperfect track and rolling stock, 
scarcity of sidings and often scarcity of funds for Improve- 
ments greatly embarrassed him at times, but he untiringly 
pushed ahead and kept in touch with all improvements in 
the operation of railroads. Up to about 1880 all trains run 
into this county were mixed trains, made up of freight and 
passenger cars. Mr. Shattuck first had the pluck to run 
regular passenger trains between Elmlra and Hoytville. 
believing that the public would appreciate the innovation 
and so increase the patronage. Mr. Gorton soon followed 
suit. To Mr. Shattuck belongs the credit of first introducing 
airbrakes on his passenger trains, making it safer for the 
traffic and easier for he trainmen. He was the first rail- 
road man to introduce soft coal as fuel in locomotives to 
produce steam, constructing the first enlarged fire-box with 
improved grates to burn the soft coal being taken from the 
mines of this county. Prior to his introduction of this im- 
proved fire-box for locomotives, wood was exclusively burn- 
ed on the engines to produce steam. The change from wood 
to coal gave an enlarged market for the product of the mines 
of this county. __ 

I also believe that Mr. Shattuck first introduced steam 
heat an his passenger trains. 

He died Nov. 1, 1888, at Mansfield, was burled there, 
near the railroad for which he gave his best energies. At 
the funeral, Rev. A. W. Hodder could truly say of him: The 
life of Mr. Shattuck was known by its strong character and 
love for truth, for virtue, for peace, for right and for jus- 


What a pity that such good men as F. H Goodyear are 
taken away in the prime of their useful lives? He died on 
May 13, 1907 — 5 8 years old. ,„ m w ln 

Mr Goodyear was the foremost figure in the lumber in- 
terests in the east, a leading factor In railroad «*»!»»«« 
dormant force in the commercial, industrial a^d flnandal 
world. Railroad president, lumber and coal operator, iron 


manufacturer and financier, his responsibilities probably 
exceeded In extent and variety those of many of his con- 
temporaries. The great enterprises which he controlled 
were the results of his own energy and foresight, and every 
phase of his career Is marked with the Impress of unerring 
sagacity, indomitable resolution and sterling integrity. En- 
gaged in the coal and lumber trade in 1871 in Buffalo, at 
22 years of age, he began on a small scale, but soon extended 
his operations, making large purchases of timber tracts in 
McKean, Potter, Elk and Cameron counties. Before Mr. 
Goodyear's day the only way of getting logs to milling points 
was by water courses, by log roads, or by sleds. He made 
the innovation of building railroads for the special purpose 
of furnishing transportation for logs and hemlock bark. 

I remember that upon my first visit to Austin, Sept. 12, 
1887, when I found Mr. Goodyear laid up with a sprained 
ankle, he asked his brother, Charles W., (who Is now presi- 
dent of the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway) to show me 
some of their proposed railroad lines. Starting out next 
morning behind a lively team, I mado the remark: "Mr. 
Goodyear, you drive a fine team there;" to which he replied: 
"This is a livery team, we do not own any teams, all our 
hauling is done by locomotives." Just think of it — a lumber 
firm not owning any teams! 

Mr. F. H. Goodyear was counted the head of the hemlock 
industry In the United States, the total holdings in Pennsyl- 
vania having an annual output of 200 million feet, besides 
many millions of hardwood. 

Mr. Goodyear was president of the B. & S. Coal & Coke 
Co., and vice-president of the B. & S. Iron Co., the latter 
operating two large furnaces at South Buffalo with a capac- 
ity of 225,000 tons of pig iron, annually. 

In Frank Goodyear the country lost one of the strongest 
and ablest of its executive men of affairs, his friends a sin- 
cere, modest and most genial personality, his family a kind 
and devoted husband and father. 

Beginning life as a poor boy, by ability and Integrity 
Mr. Goodyear rose to the highest honors in the business 
world, the great enterprises which he founded will live after 
him and perpetuate his name, but of more import than any 
material result, however brilliant, of his career, is the ex- 
ample he presented of a resolution undaunted by any ob- 
stacle, of an honor without spot or blemish. 


Was elected president of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville 
Railroad Company January 13, 1868. Prior to that date end 
up to the time of his death Mr. Sherwood was the counoeler 
and confidential advisor of the Fall Brook Coal Co. Their 
purchases of the Fall Brook and Antrim coal lands were 
negotiated and completed in his law office and the right of 
way for the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville R. R. as well as all 
the subsequent lawsuits in relation to that right of way and 
to land damages were managed by him and his partner, 
Jefferson Harrison. 

On January 23, 1882, Mr. Sherwood was elected presl- 


dent of the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek & Buffalo R. R. Co., 
which office he held up to the time of his death. He took an 
active part in getting the right of way for that road and 
was leading counsel in all law suits and commisions which 
were necessary to obtain lands for the railroad. 

Mr. Sherwood was highly esteemed by the owners of the 
Fall Brook Railway system, and enjoyed their confidence 
and friendship to the time of his death, which occurred Nov. 
10, 1896. 

Through Mr. Sherwood's death his friends lost a most 
genial companion, the Fall Brook Railway a wise counseler, 
and his family a kind and devoted husband and father. 


In the fall of 1867, when I began my work for the Fall 
Brook Coal Company, Mr. Harrison was Mr. Henry Sher- 
wood's partner and gave his advice to the Fall Brook Coal 
Co. in all important transactions. He was considered to be 
one of the best lawyers in Tioga county, and his advice was 
frequently sought by the attorneys of other railroad com- 
panies. He assisted Mr. Sherwood at all the lawsuits which 
were tried in connection with the management of the Fall 
Brook Railway Co., and was advising trustee of the John 
Magee estate up to the time of his death. 

On January 23d, 1882, Mr. Harrison was elected a di- 
rector and member of the executive committee of the Jersey 
Shore, Pine Creek & Buffalo R. R. Co. and rendered valuable 
service during the building of the road. He held his posi- 
tion as director until after the death of Mr. Sherwood, when 
he was elected president of the Pine Creek Railroad. He 
died Dec. 27, 1903. 

I enjoyed 37 years of intimate friendship with Mr. Har- 
rison. He always treated me with unvarying kindness and 
took a warm and sincere interest in my private affairs and in 
the welfare of my family, for which I will be grateful to the 
end of my life. 


I met Mr. Billings first in Mr. Sherwood's office, Jan. 3, 
1870. He was then a member of the board of commissioners 
appointed by the Court to appraise land damages on the 
Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. Mr. Billings Im- 
pressed me as a modest man of very few words, but of good 
judgment in matters referring to the railroad. He showed 
afterward great patience with the extravagant demands of 
some of the land owners along the line, and I could not help 
admiring his keen insight into human nature. 

I well remember that on the evening of Jan. 5, 1870, 
the commissioners met at Lyman Smith's hotel, in Tioga, 
where we all staid over night. Mr. Billings, E. P. Deane 
and I were assigned to one bedroom, and we went to bed 
early, tired after tramping in the snow during the day. 
Some of the other members of the commission Indulged In a 
game of cardB which lasted until midnight, when they took 
a notion to wake us up and made each of us take a "night- 


cap." We quietly submitted to the ordeal and took It good 
naturedly to have one's sleep disturbed at one o'clock In the 

Mr. Billings was prominently associated with the early 
struggles to obtain and keep alive the charter of the Jersey 
Shore, Pine Creek & Buffalo R. R. ( which in the face of 
great opposition succceeded, though he did not live to see the 
road completed. He contributed large sums of money to- 
wards the maintenance of the charter, for which neither he 
nor his heirs received any compensation except through the 
increased value of timber lands. 

Mr. Billings was a man of great energy, methodical bus- 
iness habits and unsullied integrity. Hundreds of men and 
their families got their living through Mr. Billings's enter- 
prse and he helped many an unfortunate woodsman to bridge 
over hard times by supplying him and his family with the 
necessities of life. Mr. Billings had a great many friends 
in this state and in the state of New York, and I am proud 
to say that up to his death he honored me with his confidence 
and friendship. He died Oct. 13, 1879. 


Bound-To- Please" 

NOV 03 

V /